It's Mikey's birthday!
Read on my lovelys!
Three days later, and it was Mikey’s birthday. I was pretty sure he didn’t sleep at all that night, because I didn’t either, and I could hear him tossing and turning in his room down the hall from the kitchen. I had shown my mum the present I had bought for him from both of us, and she agreed that it was perfect. She had wrapped it up for me- taking it in from the shed on Sunday morning when Mikey was still asleep- and placing it in her room for safe keeping. As it was Mikey’s birthday she had taken the day off work, however both I and Mikey still had school to go to.
Mikey stumbled into the kitchen at about half five, looking like shit on earth. I looked at him over my mug that seemed almost permanently glued to my hands as he stretched, winced, moaned, yawned, then made his way over to make some coffee.
“Happy birthday Mikes.” I said, Mikey just grunting in response. “D’you want me to make you breakfast? I can do that while you go back to bed. Why are you awake anyway?”
“Couldn’t sleep. I'm seeing Olivia today. You know the date on Friday?” I nodded, he hadn't said anything about it yet, and I was interested about what he would say.
“Yeah, well, I kind of admitted that I had never had a girlfriend before, and she went all weird on me. Why, Gerard? I don’t get it! She wouldn’t kiss me either!” Mikey looked a bit upset.
“I'm sorry Mikey. But you cheer up, yeah? You're fifteen today! And no, you can't pen your presents till mum wake up.” Mikey pouted at my words, but I was adamant about it.
“Sure. Now, you said you’d make me breakfast? Will you eat too? It’s my birthday remember.” He added, seeing my face twist with unrest.
“Fine.” I muttered, ducking my head towards the ground. “What do you want?” Mikey looked startled at my immediate consent, and then lifted his fingers to the edge of his mouth, as if he was pondering a great philosophical question. Which he most certainly wasn’t. it was a choice between toast, cereal and pancakes, for fucks sake.
“Pancakes.” Mikey finally decided, looking down at me as if to challenge his answer. I nodded, then slowly got up, stretched my limbs and wandered over to the cupboard to grab the stuff I would need to make the pancakes. There would be no ready made shit in this house, oh no. I may not eat much, but I draw the line at pancake batter.
“Great!” Mikey grinned. “I'm gonna grab an hour’s more sleep first though. See you. And go back to bed!”
Yeah, like that was gonna happen.
Still, I dutifully replied “will do!” and walked down to my room, collapsing on the bed.
I was tired, so fucking tired, but the prospect of nightmares made my eyes refuse to close. Instead, I spent the next hour just lying on my back, staring at the ceiling. I didn’t think, I didn’t do anything. I just let my mind wander. Finally, I heard off far into the distance the sound of the shower starting, and realised that Mikey was up and in the shower. I jolted out of bed, shrugged into my clothes, and then made my way into the kitchen, planning on making the pancakes on time so that Mikey walked in on them being fully ready.
I wasn’t really used to cooking food, and so the first couple went all lumpy and I burnt them slightly. But I slowly started to get the hang of it, and by the time Mikey wandered into the kitchen, hair freshly straightened and clinging to his face, I had a decent pile of pancakes waiting for him on the table. I had shoved sugar, lemon and chocolate spread onto the table also, so Mikey just grabbed a plate, and helped himself. I sat down opposite him, picking the smallest pancake that I had reserved especially for me and placed it on my own plate. Then I reached for the spread. It was kind of funny how I couldn’t even look at the chocolate spread without seeing Frank's smirk and hazel eyes etched into my mind, but I shook it off to just a good memory of someone trying to help me instead of hurting me.
So there we sat, munching on badly made pancakes, on my brothers fifteenth birthday.
It was kind of nice actually. Peaceful.
I finished the pancake I had made on my plate, then looked at the small pile still on the table. I could tell that Mikey wanted me to eat them as well, but my stomach had taken all it could. In fact, I was feeling uncomfortably full.
“There Mikes, you have ‘em. I made them for you anyway, it is your birthday.” Mikey nodded at me, then reached over with his fork and plucked the last two pancakes off the pile with his fork, slathering them in sugar and ripping huge chunks out of them at a time.
“Jesus Mikey, you look like a fucking lion!” I laughed, carrying my plate to the dishwasher and setting the plate inside it. “C’mon, finish that, then brush your teeth and we’re ready to go.”
“Yes, mother.” Mikey called out to me, and I chuckled, pulling on my coat and grabbing my bag.
It was about the time when we were passing the gates when Jon and Spencer ran past me whooping, grabbed Mikey, and pulled him away, leaving me standing on my own slightly bemused. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Ryan leaning against the wall that ran around the front of our school and walked over to him, hoping that he would give me an idea of what the hell was going on.
“Hey Ry… Err, could you tell me what's happening?” I asked him.
Ryan smirked, taking a pull on a cigarette I hadn't noticed until just then and exhaled noisily. I nodded towards the cigarette, and he held his hand out. I took the smoke, being careful not to touch his fingers, and took a drag, letting him speak as I exhaled.
“It’s your brother’s birthday, right?” I nodded. “Well, we do this thing on people’s birthdays where we have to… I don’t know, surprise them?”
I grinned slightly; I could see where this was going. “Go on.”
“And since we found out pretty easily that your brother is a massive nerd and can't stand to cut class, Jon and Spence have gonna and taken him to the orchard out the back and tied him to one of the trees. He’s gonna stay there ‘till break, I'm thinking.”
A choked laugh rose up from within me, forcing me to hand the cigarette back of to Ryan so I could double up with laughter. Ryan was giggling alongside me.
“Fuck, that’s brilliant. You know he’s going to be so pissed at you, right?
Ryan smirked again. “That’s kind of the point. On Jon’s birthday we locked him inside the girl’s toilets, and man he had a lot of explaining to do when the janitor got him out at the end of the school day.”
I snorted, but at the back of my mind I was really hoping they wouldn’t do anything to me, when my birthday came in April.
“Ryan! Ryan, did it work? Oh hi Gerard.” I turned round to see Olivia running up to me, her blue hair flapping in the breeze.
“Like a treat.” Ryan said evilly. “He didn’t suspect anything.”
Olivia laughed and clapped her hands together, smiling widely. She then turned to me. “Hey, Mikey invited all of us last week to your get together tonight to celebrate his birthday. Mind if we come?” I was a bit confused as to why she had asked my permission, since it was his birthday, but I nodded nonetheless.
“Oh, and Ryan, could you leave us for a moment? I need to ask Gerard something.” Ryan nodded, then dropped the cigarette and ground it with his foot. “Sure. Remember, orchard at break.”
“How could I forget?” Olivia asked sarcastically, and then flipped Ryan off, causing him to chuckle and walk away.
“So… Why do you want to talk to me?” I asked uncomfortably.
“Well, it’s about Mikey. See, you know that date on Friday? Well, I was really rude to him, and I feel really bad about it. I only did that because of… stuff…” Olivia trailed off, her eyes growing distant for a moment. She then shook herself, and turned to me smiling, the grin not quite meeting her eyes. “You see, the thing is, I really like Mikey. I know it’s only been a couple of weeks, but we’ve been texting loads, and I think he’s a really nice guy…”
I interrupted her. “Ask him out. He fancies you like hell. Seriously, tell him you want to be his girlfriend, and he’ll be over the moon.” Olivia’s face lit up.
“Really?” she gasped happily. “Great! I’ll do it after school. Do you think you could distract the others while I do it?” I nodded and she bounded forward, as if to hug me. I flinched backwards and she stopped, her arms falling to her sides again.
“Sorry. But, umm… Great! Thank you so much Gerard! Now we better get to class, we’re late!”
“Yeah, you’re right. Oh, and Olivia?” she turned and looked at me, questioning me with her eyebrows. “You be good to my brother, yeah?”
She smiled again, “The best.” She answered, and then skipped off, leaving me standing there, completely fucked up by the recent events surrounding my brother.
After Mikey had been cut down, and his gag removed he had immediately lunged at Jon, growling “what the actual fuck?!” To the hilarity of the others. It was only by about lunchtime where Mikey had gotten over the shock of being bound to a tree that he started to see the funny side of it, joking around to the others who were crying with laughter.
We were walking home together, Mikey talking animatedly about the day. I was just walking along in silence, interjecting when Mikey deemed it necessary for me to talk.
“Yeah, and me and Olivia were great today! Do you think? We were, weren’t we?”
“I really like her you know. She’s so pretty, and nice. I wonder what she’s gonna wear tonight. What should I wear, Gerard?”
“Whatever you want Mikey.”
And so it continued, until we finally reached our house and I could throw myself down the stairs to my room, so I wouldn’t have to listen to my brother wittering on.
Well, at least he came bounding down the stairs himself, saying “Gerard, Gerard, can I open my presents now? Mum’s up and she said I could. Please Gerard?”
I groaned into my pillow for a second before dragging my body off my bed, forcing a smile on my face and pulling Mikey upstairs.
“Come on then, let me just get your presents…”
Mikey jumped up the stairs, leaving me wondering how he could be so fucking hyper then made my own way back up the stairs, grabbing the picture I had drawn on the way, and going into my mum’s room to find all the presents. I passed mum on he way into the room, and just muttered to her: “keep him occupied while I get the stuff.” And leaving her grinning at me, happy to see her son so amused.
I left the presents outside the door to the living room, because although my mum had painstakingly wrapped them, it was still pretty obvious what they were. I approached Mikey who was sitting on the sofa, and gave him the picture I had drawn. It was of both of us, in superhero costumes, flying above New York City, massive smiles on our faces. It was unbelievably cheesy, so I had made both our costumes dark colours- mine especially, and I had also added a cloud of vampire bats around us just for added effect.
“This is so cool Gerard, thank you!” I smiled, and allowed Mikey to hug me, squeezing him hard, and feeling his arms tighten in response.
“Now, here is your main present from both of us…” I said, walking out of the room, and grabbing the amp, strap, lead and picks and placing it in front of him, before making my way out of the room and picking up the bass itself, and placing it gently before him. Mikey’s eyes widened. “You didn’t…” He breathed softly.
“Open it and see Mikes.”
Mikey lunged for the bass and unwrapped it tenderly, his face lighting up when he saw the silver chrome and metal strings.
“Oh god guys… this was what I wanted, like the exact one. Wow, I… thank you!” Mikey threw himself at my mum who laughed and stroked his hair slightly before saying “you should thank your brother instead; it was him who bought it!”
Mikey frowned for a moment. “But Gerard never goes out… Wait! On Saturday! You said you went for a walk, liar!” I chuckled at his face. “Yeah, but what was I supposed to say? Sorry, I went out I went and bought your Christmas present?”
Mikey hugged me again, whispering in my ear “thank you, I love you so much Gerard.” I smiled at his words. “Now come on, Mikey, open the rest of them!”
Mikey did as he was told, squealing when he saw the pics I had bought him, and then he immediately raced up to his room so he could plug his bass in and start strumming.
Mum and I stayed in the living room for a second, hearing the music ebb out off Mikey’s room before snapping to attention and began to clean for the ‘party’ later. It wasn’t a party as such, only my grandmother, Ryan, Jon, Spencer, Lindsay and Olivia were coming round, but we still had to cook the cocktail sausages, and clean the house. Plus, I had to get changed into something nicer- which turned out to be a black casual shirt, and my most posh skinny jeans.
Grandma Elena turned up around half an hour before the others did, carrying a bag I assumed held Mikey’s presents inside. I threw myself at her, hugging her fiercely. Like Mikey, I didn’t mind touching her at all. She smelt like old lady and was the one of the best people I knew.
“Where’s Mikey?” she asked me as she loosened the scarf from her neck and hung it on the coat rack, placing her coat on top, placing the bag underneath.
“I'm here!” Mikey said, dashing out of his room and squeezing her tightly. He had also got changed and was wearing his favourite t-shirt, as well as his favourite skinnies. God, we were so fucking smart.
“Fifteen already! I can still remember when you were a little baby, in my arms…”
“Grandma! You better not say that when my friends are round!” Mikey pouted as Elena laughed, kissing the top of his head.
“I’ll try not to, but I'm not promising anything. Now where is your mother?”
“In the kitchen.” Mikey answered.
“Ah, okay. Well, you two have some fun, and I’ll talk to her for a second.”
Mikey and I stared at each other before I awkwardly asked: “Play something on your new bass for me?” Mikey grinned and nodded, pulling me along into his room where his bass already had its own proud place in the corner.
Mikey was good at playing bass, he already knew a couple of songs. I sat there humming the tunes while Mikey played and congratulated him profusely whenever he stopped playing. His eyes were bright and he just looked so happy. I wanted to make him look like that all the time.
The doorbell rang, making Mikey put down his bass, smile at me, and then rushed off to open the door, nervously running his hands through his newly straightened hair, mussing it slightly at the back.
On the doorstep stood all five of them, wearing party hats and generally looking like complete idiots.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” They all said as one, and then rushed forward to give Mikey a huge hug that ended up being more of a bundle than a cuddle, all of them laughing breathlessly. I hung back, the thought of jumping into that was enough to make me shudder, so I just stood there uncomfortably.
Suddenly Spencer’s head popped up from the pile. “Oh hey there Gerard.” Each person slowly disentangled themselves from the floor, brushing themselves off and readjusting their party hats, before taking the bags they had left by the door and giving them to Mikey, who blushed.
Olivia stood awkwardly brushing her hands through her indigo hair exactly like Mikey did. “Sorry if what we got you wasn’t right, but we didn’t know what you want. I hope you like it!”
Mikey smiled again. “You guys didn’t need to get me anything!” he said earnestly. “But thank you very much. I’ll open them later after dinner… Hey mum, come meet my friends!”
Mikey traipsed off into the kitchen followed by the others who all said hi to me.
I stood in the doorway as Mikey introduced each of his friends, blushing slightly when it came to Olivia. Mum’s raised eyebrow told me everything- she knew Mikey had a crush on Olivia, and she had only met the girl five minutes ago.
Supper was jovial and happy, everyone had high spirits. It was a nice atmosphere, and I was glad that Mikey fit in so well with the others. Ryan had wanted to tell my mum about what had happened at school today, but Mikey shushed him before he could. I was glad about that; otherwise mum would’ve been pretty annoyed. Still, it was funny. We all sat on the floor of the living room while we ate, because the kitchen table was too small for the seven of us. Mum and grandma sat in the kitchen talking and laughing, probably discussing
Present time came, and Mikey was given a bunch of horror movies and money from Grandma and a variety of clothes from the others. Mikey held each item up happily, looking at the ‘Hot Topic’ label in disbelief and telling the others they shouldn’t have spent so much on him, but they shut him up saying he deserved it. I completely agreed with them.
I could see Olivia staring at me all through the evening, so when I put forward watching one of Mikey’s new movies, she smiled. About halfway through the film she got up, and pulled Mikey, who happened to be sitting next to her, with her out of the room. The others didn’t notice because they were too engrossed in the film, but I did, and gave her a quick thumbs up. They returned about fifteen minutes later, just after the film was finishing, with tousled hair and kiss swollen lips. I snorted to myself; my brother got some action then!
Ryan appeared to be having the same thoughts as me. He looked at the two then just went: “Booooy, who got down and dirty?” causing the others to turn and stare at the new couple who were blushing fiercely, but holding hands.
Lindsay jumped up and ran over to Olivia, screaming, “It happened! You're going out! Aww, you two will make the best couple ever!” While Jon and Spencer just sat there, looking completely bemused, smiling widely at Mikey and congratulating him.
I was pretty sure that was the best birthday Mikey had ever had, and knowing that made me so happy.
But jealous too, because I knew I would probably never be able to get close enough to someone like that.
And then, it was back to the self hatred.
There you go. Hope you enjoyed it. Rate and Review. Or not, see if I care.